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20 August, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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KhagracHhari Seven-murder

Week-long combing operation begins

Deepak Acharjee in Dhaka and Abu Taher Muhammad in Khagrachhari

A day after seven persons were killed in Khagrachari, personnel of the local law enforcement agencies, in cooperation with members of Army and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), started combing operation in the district yesterday to arrest the killers. “The week-long combing operations, known as a ‘joint operation’, would be continued till August 25 to arrest the killers and also to recover illegal arms from local criminals,” Khagrachari superintendent of police (SP) Ali Ahmed Khan told The Independent yesterday. “However, no-one was arrested or any arms recovered by the members of the joint force till yesterday evening,” he said.

“No case was filed by the victim’s family members till the time of filing of this report at 8pm on Sunday. If the victim’s family members don’t file a case on the murders, then the police will file a case,” the SP added. “We have already handed over the bodies of the seven murdered persons to their family members. Their last rites, too, have been completed,” the Khagrachari SP said.

Khan claimed that the killings were carried out by a local outfit, Parbatya Chattogram Janasanghati Samiti (PCJSS) (Reformist), which is trying to establish supremacy in the area.

Talking to this correspondent, a senior officer of another law enforcement agency said members of local political parties were collecting huge amounts of money from local people and businessmen, and were buying arms and ammunition using the money.

 “The local groups were depositing huge quantities of arms and ammunition, smuggled from the neighbouring

countries, and we are trying to recover these by conducting a joint operation,” he explained.

The upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) of Khagrachari Sadar, Syed Shamsul Tabrize, and also the member secretary of the five-member committee, said they have launched an inquiry into the incident. “We will identify the killers involved in the killings after completing the inquiry,” he said.

On Saturday, a group of armed militants of the PCJSS (Reformist) killed seven people, including four members of the Pahari Chhatra Parishad, a students’ wing of the United People’s Democratic Front (UPDF), in three separate incidents at Swanirbhar Bazar, Narankhaiya and Parachhara areas in Khagrachari.

The deceased were identified as Pahari Chhatra Parishad district unit acting president Tapan Chakma, assistant secretary Elton Chakma, member Rupom Chakma and Polash Chakma, UPDF Democratic Youth Forum member Barun Chakma, health assistant of Mohalchhari upazila Jitayon Chakma and Chano Kumar Chakma.

The injured were identified as Sohel Chakma, Samor Bikash Chakma and Sakhidan Chakma. They are currently undergoing treatment at Chattogram Medical College Hospital.

After the incidents, UPDF press secretary Niron Chakma blamed rival factions—the UPDF (Democratic) and PCJSS (Reformist)—for the killings. He demanded immediate arrest of the culprits and their exemplary punishment. However, JSS (Reformist) leader Sudankar Chakma denied that his outfit was involved in the attack.

The law enforcement agencies said a long-running battle for supremacy among four local outfits—UPDF, UPDF (Democratic), PCJSS (Santu Larma) and PCJSS (Reformist)—has turned CHT into the “hills of death”. As many as 34 leaders and activists from these four outfits have been killed in the past 10 months.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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